Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Feather Schwartz Foster, Author of The First Ladies

 








Feather Schwartz Foster, author of
"THE FIRST LADIES" & "LADIES:  A Conjecture of Personalities" …. And one more still looking for a publisher! 

*****

Upcoming signings


Friday, July 3  -  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  – William & Mary Bookstore (B&N), Merchants Sq., Williamsburg, VA. 


If you are in the area, stop in and say hello!




Check out my latest blog articles at www.featherfoster.wordpress.com

 
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-yE                                                            Mrs. Herbert Hoover's Bad Habit… The Surprise Supreme!
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-z3                                                            Kate Sprague and Roscoe Conkling:  Beauty and the Boss
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-zq                                                            Eleanor Roosevelt Looks in the Pot     
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-zQ                                                           President Garfield's Train 
All VERY nifty stories!  You will enjoy them! 

 ******

 Fall classes for the Christopher Wren Society and Christopher Newport University!


Christopher Newport University:   The "Typical" First Ladies 

Thursdays: September 10  October 8:  1-2:15 PM

Christopher Wren Society:  Three MORE Nifty Presidential-ish Stories

Tuesdays:  October 27, November 3, 10 – 9:30-11:30 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster
Www.featherfoster.com
 *********

UPCOMING EVENT:  Saturday, October 3

19th National War of 1812 Symposium
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 
Old Moot Hall, University of Baltimore

I have been invited to do a segment on DOLLEY MADISON & her role in the War of 1812!

 *******


Feather Schwartz Foster
Www.featherfoster.com



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Little Book That Could by Betty Jo Tucker (guest blogger)

Thanks to Linda Barnett-Johnson for the opportunity to blog about IT HAD TO BE US, the award-winning romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. Romantic miracles do happen in real life! 

After being divorced and estranged from each other for nearly two decades, we accidentally met again and began a journey to rediscover our lost love. In IT HAD TO BE US, we use a “Harry Remembers/Elizabeth Remembers” format to share our feelings about the poignant -- and often humorous -- events that brought us back together.

Much to our surprise, this memoir received rave reviews and is now in the early stage of film adaptation. It also won first place in the E-book category at the 2006 Hollywood Book Festival and a coveted Psyche Award nomination from The Romance Studio the following year.   

Entertainment journalist and publisher Diana Saenger calls IT HAD TO BE US “the little book that could.” I think she’s referring to the way this short romantic memoir keeps getting a new life. Diana’s company (SANDS) first published IT HAD TO BE US as a paperback in 2001, then Laura Mills-Alcott of The Romance Club turned it into an award-winning E-book. And later  Denise Cassino’s Long Story Short Publishing company released the expanded KINDLE version, which includes the recipes already mentioned, a new honeymoon revelation (with Elizabeth ending up on the roof of a famous hotel!), and a section devoted to some of our favorite romantic movies.  

Nancy Lombardo, host of Comedy Concepts on BlogTalkRadio, calls our story “A Recipe for Love” in her enthusiastic review of the E-book. She also says the book is “a wonderfully touching homage to love -- sweet, honest and filled with hope.”
Because I don’t like to eat anything that once had a face, I added some yummy vegetarian recipes to our book, and that’s probably why Nancy used “Recipe” in her review title. As a movie addict, I gave most of the recipes film-related monikers, such as “Oscar-Worthy Nachos,” “4-Star Vegetarian Chili,” “Technicolor Rice Surprise,” “Thumbs-Up Spaghetti,” “Frida’s Bean Burritos,” and “Miracle Dessert.” However, my hubby is still a carnivore, so he fries up a bit of hamburger and mixes it into his own servings of “4-Star Chili” and “Thumbs-Up Spaghetti” -- which proves that vegetarians and carnivores can live together in harmony, at least at our house.

About those romantic films, I know many are highly predictable and not very entertaining, but my hubby and I still have a lot of favorites. In IT HAD TO BE US, we’ve included reviews of several excellent ones, such as Love Actually, Serendipity, Down with Love, Pride & Prejudice, Two Weeks Notice, Beyond Borders, The Fountain, Music and Lyrics, and Kate & Leopold. We really enjoy watching movies like these together. It was fun compiling our list of favorites, even though we frequently disagreed while making the selections.  

IT HAD TO BE US is available for $5.99 at the Amazon KINDLE store, and we happily donate our author royalties to the IMAGINATION LIBRARY, a children’s  literacy program sponsored by the Dollywood Foundation.
LINK to the Sizzle Reel by Misha Zubarev: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyBSB47WVMU

LINK to more information about IT HAD TO BE US:

BIO

Betty Jo Tucker serves as editor/lead film critic for ReelTalk Movie Reviews. She also writes film commentary for the Colorado Senior Beacon and is the award-winning author of Confessions of a Movie Addict and Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick. She hosts a radio show, “Movie Addict Headquarters,” on BlogTalkRadio. Betty Jo helped found the San Diego Film Critics Society and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society.  More information can be found at her website by clicking on www.BettyJoTucker.com.















Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top 5 Reasons as To Why Businesses Need To Outsource Their Contact Centre Services (guest blogger)

Top 5 Reasons as To Why Businesses Need To Outsource Their Contact Centre Services

When your customers call you to inform you about the issue they are facing or ask questions, the contact centre representatives they speak to is responsible for handling their concerns and improving the view of their company so do make that your calls are handled smoothly. These professionals also serve as the spokesperson for their businesses while interacting with their customers, and when this department has a problem in talking calls then it is time to hire an outsourcing company. Given here are five important reasons as to why the business owners need to turn towards contact centre outsourcing.

Customer’s complaints increase: If a business receives complaints and does not stop them then the number of calls would continue to increase. Contact centre professionals are here not just to hear the complaints of their customers but also to defence against the negative comments that could have affected the reputation of the organization. So when you are dealing with angry customers and trained customers then know what you have to say in order to maintain and improve their relationship with them and bringing a change in the business.

Calls being put on hold on frequent basis: The long-time wait to connect to with the customer care could be unbearable for a few and could cause them to complain even more. And if the customer success team would continue to experience a backlog of calls, then it high time that you hire an external organization who has a great experience in taking the calls from the demanding customers. Outsourcing contact centre employees would continue to work efficiently and so quickly that the customers would not have to wait for a longer period of time.

Businesses using an outdated equipment: Sometimes the problem with the client and the customer communication begins with the equipment itself. When the businesses use the old equipment’s then it could mean of being more disconnected from calls. And since the organizations partner with the external service providers they do not have to pay for all the calling equipment of the outsourced workers, they could cut operating costs while improving the customer’s communication.

In house Labor costs outweigh the benefits: Because the contact centre workers are the major link between the consumers and the businesses, they are crucial in maintaining the customer’s satisfaction. Organizations pay more for the Labor costs for all the in house contacts that they have. As a client service team you need to support the growth of a business by effectively articulating the benefits for all their products and services. And an outsourcing company could provide such a group of skilled professionals.

Too much time spent on recruiting the callers: When you begin to get calls on continuous basis, it could be overwhelming especially if the customers are difficult enough to deal with. This could also lead with in house customer team to quit and leave a business shorthanded. Outsourcing contact centre services are well experienced in recruiting and in training the callers, saving your time and money. So instead of recruiting new callers themselves business owners should here consider of seeking external help in order to improve their customer support team.

About the Author
Abhishek Jain has over 10 years of experience within the BPO Industry and Contact Centre Services. Business Process Outsourcing delivers and manages various offshore/onsite projects in various technologies and domains.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

MARGARET FIELAND INTERVIEW (guest blogger)




When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?
LOL, I never realized I was destined to be a writer -- I fell into it. I'd written poetry for years, collecting it in notebooks stacked in my attic when I wrote one I wanted to keep. This led me to several online sites and ultimately to discovering the Muse Online Writers Conference where I hooked up with Linda Barnett Johnson and joined her writers forums. She required everyone to write both fiction and poetry, so, with much trepidation, I started writing fiction. Then I got hooked on it, wrote a chapter book, took the ICL course and actually learned how to write it. Then in 2010, I was seized by a desire to write a sci fi novel, so I spent six weeks or so on world building, mostly, with a bit of plotting thrown in for good measure.

Who would you cite as your influences?
I'm a way-back sci-fi fan, and Robert A. Heinlein influenced me heavily. I took a lot away from his writing, notably the value of surprising one's reader. I also love Lewis Carroll, both his Alice books and his poetry. I can still recite several stanzas of Jabberwocky from memory. Isaac Asimov and James M. Barrie are also early influences.

What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
Don't let your vision of yourself as a writer be limited. I never, other than for English class, wrote a word of fiction before I joined Linda's writing forums. It simply never occurred to me that I could - or that I wanted to. A clear failure of imagination.

You bio says you read a lot of science fiction aimed at boys when you were growing up.  There is a myth out there that science fiction is written by, and for, men.  Do you think any progress has been made in the last few years about raising public awareness that women write, and read, science fiction?
Well, there is certainly lots more sci fi written by women now-a-days, and I do believe more women are reading the genre. But there were actually women sci fi writers when I was growing up -- Andre Norton and C.L. Moore, to name a couple. Do notice, however, the androgynous names.  Things have indeed improved a bit since then. But I do believe that sci fi is viewed as a largely male preserve, just like, sadly, computer software engineering/

Where do think the human race will be a hundred years from now – utopia, dystopia, or the same place we are now?
About the same place we are now, truthfully. However, from a writers' point of view, this is probably the least interesting alternative {grin}, so my writing certainly won't reflect this rather mundane view of our future. As a writer, predicting disaster of one kind or another is a much more fruitful source. In my Aleyne novels, the backstory includes a collapse of technology here on Earth in about 100 years, due to riots that brought down the government and destroyed infrastructure.

Tell us about your latest release.
The latest release was Geek Games, which is actually the second Aleyne novel, in terms of chronology. It features a fourteen-year-old main character, Martin Samuels, who foolishly brings down the spaceport computer network, thus enabling the terrorists to set off a bomb which kills his friend's father. The third novel in the series, Broken Bonds, was released in July. It features Brad Reynolds, who is the Major in charge of the Federation Guard base on Aleyne. It takes place roughly four years after Geek Games.

What are you working on at present?
I finished the fourth book in the series, which is due out sometime later this year. It's another adult novel, a sci fi action-adventure romance, and the main character is Colonel Robert Walker, the man who (spoiler) arrests Brad for treason in Broken Bonds. I have a chapter book that should be out soon as well. And I'm working on a prequel to the Aleyne novels.

Five Fun Facts:

1.     While in college and studying for exams, I would make myself forgo trips to the library. Driven by boredom, I would reread Alice in Wonderland. I can still recite the first two stanzas of Jabberwocky from memory.
2.     When my kids were little, I read them Peter Rabbit so often I had most of memorized. It impressed my kids no end on boring car trips.
3.     I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan. When I was in elementary school, a friend and I collected a bag of rocks from central park, which was then stolen by a gang of boys.
4.     I wanted electric trains but never got any, as my father was not interested in trains and was not at all handy. In fact, all home repairs were done by my mother or one of my uncles.
5.    I had originally intended to study Spanish in school, but my father was so upset by the notion that I switched to French, which both he and my mother spoke.

Bio:
Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life.  Her poems and stories have appeared in journals such as  Turbulence Magazine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011.  She is the author of  Relocated, Geek Games, and Broken Bonds, published by MuseItUp Publishing , and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems. A chapter book  and another science fiction novel are due out later this year.

My author page on muse:

My author page on Amazon:

Where to find me on the web:









Monday, June 29, 2015

How an Author’s Blog Enhances Book Promotion Efforts by Sue Chehrenegar (guest blogger)


Recall a time when you felt sad about reaching the end of a book. You wanted to stay longer in the world inhabited by the book’s characters. In other words, you had experienced positive feelings while reading that particular publication.
When a reader experiences such positive feelings, that same person has acquired something of real value from what he or she has read. The delivery of positive feelings represents one of five basic ways by which an author can offer something of real value to readers. A blog can be used to offer readers a taste of the valuable nature of an author’s work.
A blog might also be used to demonstrate a book’s possession of other characteristics that would seem valuable in a reader’s mind. For instance, an author’s recollections might trigger pleasant memories in the mind of the reader. Hence, recollections that mirror those in a book can demonstrate the value of the volume that contains those same recollections. In that way, a recollection on a blog can be used to offer a potential customer something of value.
Perhaps some piece of information in what an author has posted while blogging will manage to connect with a potential customer. That stands as yet a third means for showing that an author’s work delivers true value to those that read it. The connection could concern the actual contents of the promoted volume, or it could relate to some aspect of the process that went into development of the material that was included in that same book’s pages.
Maybe you have provided someone that holds a do-it-yourself attitude with some useful information, because you have put your guidance in a publication. You should not allow the useful nature of your publication to remain hidden. Promote that characteristic by posting useful facts in your blog. That should work to showcase your book’s usefulness, and thus its valuable nature.
A final way that a book can prove valuable to a reader concerns that volume’s ability to serve as a form of reinforcement. The author of a piece of fiction should note that particular fact. Typically, the main character in a work of fiction faces a challenge. The character’s ability to deal with that challenge can work as reinforcement for a reader that faces a similar challenge. Consequently, the reinforcement that might be offered by an author’s work ought to be highlighted in a blog.
Not every book can deliver all five of the values that were mentioned in this blog post. Still, any one volume ought to be able to provide readers with at least one such value. The valuable aspect of a publication can relate to the memories it triggers, the positive feelings it produces, the fact that it connects with readers, the degree to which it proves useful or the way that it reinforces a reader’s idea or opinion. A blog’s ability to highlight any one of those same aspects manages to aid promotion of the author’s published work.

Author’s bio: Sue Chehrenegar has written a short story for the anthology THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE. In order to promote that anthology and her story, she once had a blog called “One Hundred Years of Thoughts.” She shared her own experiences as well as offering information on both the time period of her story. In addition, she demonstrated to writers how  she sought to enter the mind of her main character. Sue called on her experiences as a blogger when composing this article.




Thursday, June 25, 2015

Miracles Happen Everyday! Uncover the Mystery of Miracles


Miracles Happen Everyday! Uncover the Mystery of Miracles
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Monday, June 22, 2015

Roseanne Dowell, Author (Guest Blogger)

 I live in a make believe world. Okay, not literally, but vicariously through my characters.  I decide where they live, name their towns, or sometimes I let them live in a real city/town.  I prefer small towns, maybe because I’ve always wanted to live in one. I especially like towns with Victorian houses and apparently so do my characters, because I use them a lot.  I often say I must have lived during the Victorian area, probably as a mean old nanny. I’m sure I wasn’t the lady of the house, and by house I mean mansion. Queen Anne Victorian homes are my favorite. I love the round turrets, all the gingerbread, and wrap around porches. It was always my dream to buy one and restore it. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be and I’m past the point of wanting one now.

Back to my make believe world. I’d like to say I choose my characters, but truthfully, they choose me.  Sometimes I even get to name them, but if they don’t like the name, well believe me, they misbehave until I change it. And, yes, that’s happened several times. Just because I like a name doesn’t mean they do. The last time it happened it wasn’t even a main character. She was only in the story for a short time, but boy was she stubborn. She refused to talk to me and anything I wrote was garbage, better known as dreck in the writing world.

As I’ve said previously, I write many different of genres, from Women’s Fiction to Romance to Mystery and even Paranormal. Most of my books are a combination of romance and another genre. As a reader, I’ve always favored mystery and romance, so it only made sense to combine them.  Mine would be classified as cozy mysteries, the gory stuff takes place off scene.

 I also love ghost stories – not evil mean ghosts though. One such story is Shadows in the Attic and another Time to Love Again. I’ve always been fascinated by ESP, hence my story Entangled Minds – previously published as Connection of the Minds.

My character’s ages range from their mid twenties to middle age and into their seventies. Yes, seniors need love, too. Geriatric Rebels is a favorite.  It’s fun working with different characters, and I especially like when they add a bit of humor. I really form an attachment to them. Once a character chooses me, I make a character worksheet so I know everything about them, not just what they look like.

I love creating my characters, picking their careers, anything from housewife, authors, teachers, floral designers, and interior designers. Sometimes their careers play a part in the story, sometimes not. The character in my work in progress (WIP in the writer’s world) is a former teacher. It’s not a big part of the story, but it’s something I needed to know. She’s a real character in the true sense of the word. She came into being in a previous story, All in the Family. It started out with her having a small part, but Aunt Beatrice Lulu (ABLL) grew into a big part of the story. Once I finished that book, she popped up again and demanded her own book. Problem is, she takes fits and goes into hiding every so often, which is where she’s at right now and has been for some time. Sometimes she pops up for days of writing. Other times, I get a paragraph or two. I’ve never had a character do that before.
Oh, I’ve had writer’s block a time or two, but once I’m over it the writing flows. Not so with ABLL.

  It’s also fun describing my characters, their hair and eye color, height, even their weight. I’m often asked if I’m a plotter or punster. I tried plotting once and ended up blocked for almost two years. For me plotting doesn’t work. I usually know the beginning and end of  my stories. What happens in the middle is as much a surprise to me as it is to my readers. ABLL is full of surprises. What that woman doesn’t get into. So even though she goes into hiding, it’s generally worth it when she reappears. I’m not sure where she came from, but I’m sure enjoying working with her. Okay, I’ll be honest, a little bit of her is me, a little bit my sisters, and even my mother. She’s a combination of all the people I love and it’s so much fun living in her make believe world.
You can find my books on Amazon.
 
 Bio:
First and foremost, Roseanne is a wife, mother of six, grandmother of fourteen and great-grandmother.
As the second youngest of six children, Roseanne always had a vivid imagination and loved to make up stories.  An avid reader, she often dreamed of becoming a writer. Roseanne started writing when her children were young, but only began submitting her work about six years ago.  During a Book Club meeting, Roseanne admitted her dream to write. Members of her Book Club encouraged her to pursue her writing and to submit her work.

Although Satin Sheets was her first published novel, Roseanne had over forty articles and stories published in magazines – Good Old Days, Nostalgia, and Ohio Writer and several online publications. She also taught a several writing courses for Long Story Short School of Writing and the Encore Program at Cuyahoga Community College.

You can learn more about Roseanne from her website www.roseannedowell.com or her blog http://roseannedowellauthor.blogspot.com.